Teen Series: (Part 11 of 15) Intro to Professional Etiquette and Job Hunting

As a teenager, your introduction into the professional world can be an exciting yet crazy daunting experience. Whether you’re seeking part-time employment, an internship, or even your first full-time job, understanding and mastering basic professional etiquette is essential. In this blog post, we’ll explore key skills every teenager should know to navigate the job market successfully.

We can assume speaking in hashtags, and modern day slang should probably take a back seat to this portion of your life. #whompwhomp

From crafting a compelling resume and cover letter to communicating professionally via email, let’s take a gander into the world of professional etiquette.


Crafting a winning Resume

Your resume is your first opportunity to make a positive impression on potential employers. Here are some essential tips for creating a compelling resume:


Keep it concise: A resume should ideally be one page for teenagers with limited work experience. Focus on the most relevant information.


Include a strong objective or summary: Start your resume with a brief statement highlighting your career goals and key skills.


List your education: Mention your high school, graduation date (or expected date), and any relevant coursework or achievements.


Highlight experience: Even if you haven’t had formal jobs, include volunteer work, extracurricular activities, or internships. Describe your responsibilities and accomplishments in bullet points.


Showcase your skills: Include a section for skills such as computer proficiency, language skills, or certifications.


Crafting an Effective Cover Letter

A well-crafted cover letter can set you apart from other candidates. Here’s how to create an effective one:


Address it properly: Use the recipient’s name whenever possible. Avoid generic salutations like “To Whom It May Concern.” This will involve some research on your part to find out who you need to speak with.


Start strong: Begin with an engaging opening that explains why you’re interested in the position and the company. And “because I need money” is not an acceptable answer. 🙂


Customize your content: Tailor your cover letter for each job application, emphasizing how your skills and experiences align with the specific role.


Showcase your value: Explain what you can bring to the company and how your skills and qualifications make you an ideal candidate.


Conclude professionally: Express your enthusiasm for the opportunity and request an interview.


Professional email communication

In today’s digital age, email communication is a crucial aspect of professional etiquette. Here’s how to communicate professionally via email:


Use a professional email address: Your email address should be straightforward and not include personal or unprofessional elements. In opening a new business account, I was reminded of a very, very, extremely old email address I had on file. I still use one that says “mommy” in it from when I had my first kiddo. I have a grown-up one now. 🙂


Write a clear subject line: Make sure the recipient knows the purpose of your email from the subject line. They probably receive tons of emails per day. Make sure yours doesn’t end up trashed.


Use a formal tone: Address the recipient politely, and maintain a professional and respectful tone throughout the email. 


Proofread carefully: Check for spelling and grammar errors to ensure your message is clear and error-free. There’s no quicker way to get your message NOT taken seriously than speaking in abbreviations and bad punctuation. Your potential employer is looking for a professional.


Attachments and signatures: If you’re sending attachments, mention them in the email body, and always include a professional signature with your name, contact information, and any relevant social media or professional profiles. (Pro tip: If you’re including your social handles, make sure it’s one you wouldn’t be embarrassed to share LOL)

Mastering basic professional etiquette is a valuable skill for teenagers entering the job market. Crafting a compelling resume and cover letter, and communicating professionally via email are essential tools to help you succeed in your job search.

Remember, first impressions matter, and demonstrating professionalism will set you on the path to success in your professional endeavors. Good luck out there!


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